It’s been awhile since we last visited Washington D.C., especially since several of our good friends live in the immediate vicinity. A couple of years ago – January 2013, to be exact – Alan had to fly out for a week of work meetings, and because at the time I also had business in the area, I joined him. The hotel we stayed at turned out to be 1/2 mile from one of my company’s offices and … next door to my best friend’s condo. It was a great week! While there we spent some time visiting with all of our friends, and on one of the days we even walked the tidal basin, much to my poor old knees’ chagrin. Because it was winter, it was pretty barren at the time, but we had a beautifully sunny and cold day so it was glorious.
Fast forward to this year and my best friend shared her pictures of a tidal basin walk during the peak of cherry blossom season and they are BEAUTIFUL. Are y’all familiar with D.C.’s blossoms and what a draw they are? There’s even a whole festival devoted to them.
Japan gave 3,020 cherry blossom trees as a gift to the United States in 1912 to celebrate the nations’ then-growing friendship, replacing an earlier gift of 2000 trees which had to be destroyed due to disease in 1910. These trees were planted in Sakura Park in Manhattan and line the shore of the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C. The first two original trees were planted by first lady Helen Taft and Viscountess Chinda on the bank of the Tidal Basin. The gift was renewed with another 3,800 trees in 1965. In Washington, D.C. the cherry blossom trees continue to be a popular tourist attraction (and the subject of the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival) when they reach full bloom in early spring.
D.C. is a town (city!) that I *love* wholeheartedly. I know it’s morally corrupt and the traffic is horrible and there are thousands of things to hate about it, and I probably would if I lived there, but visiting? I love visiting. I think I see a trip in our future.
Anyhow, enjoy her pictures. I certainly have (especially since it means I can consume the splendour of the beauty of it all without (1) having to do so with that many people milling about me (holy crowds!), and (2) exacerbate my poor allergies.
If the pictures of the crowds didn’t give you an idea of what it was like, check out this picture of the traffic getting into DC proper.